Hair Regimen

Since posting pictures of my hair yesterday, many people have been asking about my hair regimen. To be clear, the pictures I posted yesterday aren’t a result of any hair regimen. My hair has been braided up for the past 18 months so I haven’t had to do anything special… The regimen below is simply what I plan to do now that I am back to my hair. I got most of the tips from my friend Jessica as well as “Ulovemegz'” blog/YouTube Channel. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday

– Pre-poo (if needed):

prepoo

  • Warm Honey, ORS Hair Repair Vital Oils + VO5 Conditioner (optional) in a bowl
  • Part hair into 4 sections
  •  Spray Hair with water/glycerin mix
  • Detangle each section with a wide tooth comb
  • Apply mixture
  • Cover with a plastic cap & sit for 30 minutes

– Shampoo

shampoo

       Choose Shampoo:

  • Use Sulfate when you need to rid your hair of oils
  • Use Sulfate-free Shampoo every other time
  • Clarifying Shampoo: Once a month to really clean the hair/scalp
  • Flat Ironing Hair: Aphogee Deep Moisture Shampoo

– Optional- Do a rinse:

deepconditioner

Use Aphogee Reconstructor (with a plastic shower cap) when hair needs extra protein or when flat ironing hair.

Use Black Tea if hair is Shedding (**This can stain your clothes and your hair so I wouldn’t recommend this for anyone with colored hair).

  • Make Black Tea
  • Let it Cool
  • Pour Rinse onto Hair
  • Deep Condition on Top of Rinse

– Deep Condition

conditioner

  • Choose Deep Conditioner: If  hair is brittle, rough or hard, use Moisture based conditioner: Elasta QP Deep Conditioner or Lustrasilk Cholesterol (not pictured).  If hair is limp, breaking, or doesn’t hold a curl, use Protein based conditioner: Mane n Tail Conditioner or ORS Replenishing Conditioner.
  • Cover hair with a plastic shower cap
  • Sit under the dryer for 30 minutes
  • Rinse out Conditioner

– Apply Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner

– Moisturize & Seal Hair

styling

  • Rub down edges & hair with ORS Hair Repair Anti Breakage (good for extra care on ends) or Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter
  •  Seal with ORS Hair Repair Vital Oils

– Detangle from ends to root

– Air dry until damp

–  Style as desired

Wednesday

–          Co-Wash

conditioner

–       Optional- Do a rinse (See “Sunday” for instructions)

–       Deep Condition (See “Sunday” for instructions)

–       Apply Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner

–       Moisturize & Seal Hair (See “Sunday” for instructions)

–       Detangle from ends to root

–       Air dry until damp

–       Style as desired

Daily (Before Bed)

–       Rub down edges & hair with ORS Hair Repair Anti Breakage (good for extra care on ends) or Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter

–       Seal with ORS Hair Repair Vital Oils

–       Wrap, Twist or Braid hair

–       Cover hair

 

Monthly

–       Protein Treatment: ORS Hair Mayonnaise; Egg;  or Egg + Regular conditioner

–       Shampoo with Clarifying Shampoo: ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo

–       Heat Pass (Allowed to flat iron)

Styling Options

No Heat:

–       Bantu Knots

–       Braid Outs or Twist Outs

–       Straw Set

–       Air dry

Indirect Heat:

–       Rollers

–       Roller Wrap

Direct Heat (once a month):

–       Blow dry

–       Straightening

Other

–       Low manipulation styles/protective styling is your best friend: Buns, Braids, Weaves, Wigs, etc.

–       “Dust” ends once a month; trim every 6 months

–       Stretch relaxers 10-16 weeks

Helpful Websites

Since I haven’t started yet, I’m not sure how it will work out but I will be sure to add updates as I figure out what works/doesn’t work for me. If you have any other tips or suggestions, I would love to hear them!

Until next time…

xx

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Struggles of a Black Woman: Hair Journey Recap

So once upon a time, in a land far far away, there lived two nappy headed black twins…

Kel, dont kill me.

Kel, dont kill me.

Haha jk. (but seriously…)

The first time I got my hair relaxed, I was 8 years old. Kelly & I were going to be flower girls in our aunt’s wedding and had planned to have our hair pressed. The week of the wedding, we found it it was supposed to rain on the big day so instead of pressing our hair like we had originally planned, we got relaxers instead. (I WISH I had a picture that showed how long our hair was… It was beautiful… and full…. and straight- we were in awe!) I remember we kept flipping our hair back and forth because we were shocked that it could actually move haha. We were so excited to have “white girl” hair, we thought we could take care of it the same way… Needless to say, the length and the healthiness quickly deteriorated.

The Summer of 2011, is probably when it got the worst.

Summer of 2011- at the Fair

Summer of 2011- at the Fair

Summer 2011- Girls Night at Coastal Flats

coastal_girls2

July 2011- On the way to Kathrina's baby shower

July 2011- On the way to Kathrina’s baby shower

boat

Father’s day 2011- My hair was so weak that when I would take my sunglasses off my head, pieces of hair would come off with it.

I was at the salon getting a relaxer and for some reason I decided to touch my hair. When I did, I noticed that hair was coming out in my hand. I freaked out but never said anything to the stylist… I was hoping I was seeing things. Soon she called me over to start washing out the relaxer. When she started washing it out, I guess she noticed the same thing because she asked me if I had been taking any new medications because my hair was falling out in the sink… I seriously almost died. The whole time all I could think was that I had some terminal disease that was causing my hair to fall out. As soon as I got in the car, I called my mom and told her what had happened. She told me that if it was a health issue, the hair would be falling out from the root, not the ends, and that my hair must have been over processed. I called the hair dresser and told her what my mom said so recommended I do protein treatments. I started doing them but the reality was no amount of protein could save that hair.

In September, I went to a different stylist, the one my sister was using at the time. I had her cut my hair as short as it could make it where it would still look decent.

September 2011- The day I cut my hair & a week before I started putting in full weaves.

September 2011- The day I cut my hair & a week before I started putting in full weaves.

While I was sitting in the chair, she mentioned that I should braid my hair up to give it a break but there was no way I was going to let that happen. (There are some girls that can rock the braids… I’m just not one of them). We decided that a  full weave would be the way to go.. A week later I was at her house and she was hooking me up! From September 2011 to now, I had been rocking the remy hair.

sep2011


nov2012

jan2013

 I loved it. It was low maintenance, you could get it whatever length you wanted, you could go swimming and not come out with an afro- it was awesome. The only problem is… its not cheap. Eventually I got tired of dropping $400-$500 every 3 months to get new hair put in.  I decided it was time to come back to reality and go back to my hair. I started researching natural vs relaxed hair to see which one I thought would be a better fit for me. (Natural is nice because you’re not putting chemicals on your hair so you can use heat more often… plus you get the versatility of wearing it curly or straight. Relaxed is nice because its easier to manage but the downside is you have to be extra careful with it if you want it to reamin healthy). For weeks I kept going back and forth… it wasn’t until last December when I was getting my old extensions taken that I realized there was no way in HELL I could be natural. Not only was it so much hair to take care of, just brushing it was a NIGHTMARE. (I swear I needed 80 advil after she was done brushing through it).

Since I made up my mind on going back to the “creamy crack”, I started focusing on learning how to maintain healthy relaxed hair. I reached out to my friend Jessica to see what she did as well as  started researching hair blogs and YouTube to see what worked for other people. Jessica gave me her regimen & turned me on to this girl, UloveMegz… I was instantly hooked. I literally spent 7 hours on her blog and YouTube Channel. I started taking pictures and writing everything down trying to prepare myself for what to do once “D-Day” came. (I literally felt like a pregnant mom, awaiting her soon to be born baby… anxious to see what it would look like hahaha). Once I made my hair appointment, I started buying everything so that I would be ready to go…. except I went a little overboard…

$300 later....

$300 later…. I swear I have enough hair products to last me a year.

Anywho, I finally got my hair done yesterday and here is the final result :).


newhair1

newhair_back

Diptic

I was a little sad that she had to cut some off but overall I’m happy! I think I’m most shocked that all of that hair is hair that has grown since September 2011… gives me hope! Now its time to start following my new hair regimen (i’ll upload it tomorrow). It is going to take a lot of work but I’m excited to see how it goes :)!

xx

Week One Recap

When I decided to start this journey… I knew it wouldn’t be easy but I didn’t really think it would be this hard. It’s only been one week and I already feel like I’ve been slacking on some of my goals.

Here is my week one update on my goals:

  • Health/Fitness: Take vitamins everyday and go to the gym at least 4 days each week
    • I took my vitamins every day except for Saturday
    • I only went to the gym 3 days: Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday. On Wednesday, I drove all the way to the gym to find out that they had closed early due to the snow storm (darn you weather!)… Long story short, I ended up doing a quick workout using OnDemand :(… let’s hope I don’t have to do that again haha. This week, I have only gone 1 day so far but I plan to go Wednesday, Thursday & Saturday as well.
  • Spiritual: Spend time with God daily
    • I was so good about his earlier in the week but as soon as I left for Nova, everything went out the window. I either need to learn to be consistent even when Im away from home or stop leaving home as much haha! I am hoping to be fully caught up with the pages in my book by tomorrow.
  • Hair: Research ways to maintain healthy relaxed hair (#blackgirlprobs) & buy hair products
    • I officially scheduled my hair appt! It is going to be this Saturday at 4:30. Now that I have a date set, I am excited yet nervous! I expect my hair to be healthy but I’m nervous about how long it will be. I just want to feel like these past 21 months really did something.
    • I also spent 5 hours tonight re-reviewing how to properly take care of my hair and jotting down what I will need to buy. I am hoping to get everything on my extensive shopping list tomorrow. I will be sure to post a pic once I have everything :).
  • Life: Pay off credit cards & create a budget
    • So far, I have paid off one credit card. I have the money for the other credit card but am waiting until as close to the due date as possible. I don’t know if that is a good idea or a bad idea- haha.
    • I still haven’t created a budget yet but technically I have a few more weeks in March so maybe that will be my focus for next week.
    • Minor setback: My friend Jessye introduced me to eBay this weekend -_____-. Let’s just say I’m a little addicted. I have already bought 5 things (I’ll post pics once they arrive)! I have decided no more impulse buys and am now forcing myself to wait at least 24 hours before buying anything. Usually that is enough time to knock some sense into me.

Hopefully this week I can get on track.

Until next time…

xx

What on Earth Am I Here For?

I always call myself a Christian but sometimes I look at myself and I look at the world and I don’t see much of a difference. For so long, I was okay with it I guess. I knew I wanted better but I never wanted to put in the time to make it different. In the beginning of 2013, I was going through so many internal struggles. With all the distractions of moving and starting a new job now gone, I was now forced to face many issues that for so long I had been trying to suppress. I was so unhappy- with Richmond, with myself, with life. One night I was laying in bed upset at the world and I started to really think about everything: who I am as a person; the good, the bad and the ugly. Do I like what I see? What kind of person do I want to be? What do I want my life to look like? What do I want my future marriage to look like? A lot of my answers were “I want it to be like what I had growing up”. I want to be a strong, Christian woman like my mom. I want a strong Christian husband who treats me the way my dad treats my mom. I want a family like my family. And then I started thinking about how they got all of that and it all came back to one thing: God. In happy times and in hard times, that is the first person they turn to. I’ve always admired that. I admire that fact that they rarely worry about things… that they whole-heartedly believe that no matter what happens, it is in His hands and He will take care of them… and I decided I wanted a relationship with Him like that.

In January, I started looking for a church home – one that I would be excited to go to on Sundays and not just go to because I felt like I needed to check it off some checklist. I had been praying to God that he would work on my heart, that he would motivate me to take action and that he would make it clear to me where he wanted me. My first Sunday looking, I went to a church in downtown Richmond called Commonwealth Chapel. Because it is downtown, they don’t have a formal parking lot- it is street parking or parking garages. (Keep in mind, I chose to live in the suburbs because I hate trying to navigate the city). That Sunday, I got to the church ten minutes before it started but could not find parking for the life of me. I started praying to God like “God, I’m trying to do something good here… PLEASE just help a sista out”. I drove around aimlessly for about 15 minutes trying to figure out where to go and finally just paid $5 to park in a parking garage. Once I got in the church, they had already started praise & worship and since everyone was standing it was impossible to find a seat. After a few minutes of walking around like an idiot, I finally found a seat all the way in the back corner. By this time I was a little frustrated with how my morning was turning out… so again, I prayed. I asked God to clear my mind and help me focus on the message and to help me to hear what he needed to say to me. That week the message was titled: God’s perfect work through imperfect people. The main points of it were:

  1. Trust knows God is working even when we can’t see him
  2. Perspective doesn’t focus on the outward and superficial
  3. Glory belongs to God and not a person
  4. Grace: We’re broken people in the process of being made whole

It was one of those messages where it came right at the perfect time. After feeling so alone and discouraged it was exactly what I needed to hear. As if that wasn’t crazy enough, for the closing song the band played the song “Stronger” by Hillsong. The chorus of the song is “You are stronger, You are stronger, Sin is broken you have saved me. It is written, Christ is risen, Jesus you are Lord of all”. I literally just started crying right then and there. I felt like it was God’s way of telling me He hears me, He is with me, He isn’t going anywhere, and He will always be strong… especially when I can’t be. It was at that moment I knew I had just found my church home.

For February, my goal was to try to get more involved at the church. I emailed the church to find out about membership classes, bible studies, etc. I got an email back from a co-ed group that meets on Thursday nights. I tried it out and met some pretty cool people but I knew the next two Thursdays I was going to busy and I didn’t want to start out the month already missing two bible studies. The next Sunday there was a newcomers social at the pastors house. The purpose of it was so new people could meet other new people as well as the staff. I ended up meeting one of the Staff members who is a girl that is a couple of years older than me. She mentioned that she hosts a girls bible study on Tuesday nights so I got her information so that I could go that week. When I showed up, they had wine and krispie creme donuts… It was at that moment I knew I had just found my small group.

For March, my goal is to spend time with God daily. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, after going to Barnes & Noble to look for a devotional, I came across the book What on Earth Am I Here For? I had planned to start it today but the first thing it said when I opened it was that they suggested reading it with a partner. Ecclesiastes 4:9 states “Two are better off than one, because together they can work more effectively. If one of them falls down, the other can help him up… Two people can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. A rope made of three cords is hard to break.” So I got my three cords: my brother, sister and I will all be starting tomorrow :). Needless to say, I’m excited to see the things that God has in store for my life this month!

Until next time…

xoxo

Goals for March

Goals for March

At work when I set goals, I have things to hold me accountable: my manager, performance reviews, paycheck/bonus, etc. In my personal life, I feel like I’ll set goals, work towards them for a few weeks, and then fall back into old habits. I think a lot of this is due to the fact that I have nothing to hold me accountable. Like most people, when the new year started, I created resolutions. They are probably the same as everyone else’s: save money, eat better, exercise, go to church, etc. I started trying to do all of them, all the way, all at once… Needless to say, I was very overwhelmed and failing MISERABLY. Thankfully, each day is a new day. That being said, today marked my new “day one” for the goals I’ve set for myself… This time I decided to break them down into more manageable chunks. There are 4 main areas of my life that I have set goals for: Health/Fitness, Spiritual Health, Hair, & Life.

Goals

  • Health/Fitness: Take vitamins everyday and go to the gym at least 4 days each week
  • Spiritual: Spend time with God daily
  • Hair: Research ways to maintain healthy relaxed hair (#blackgirlprobs) & buy hair products
  • Life: Pay off credit cards & create a budget

Health/Fitness:

  • Take Vitamins every day (pretty self-explanatory)
  • Go to the gym at least 4 days each week: Back in 2012, I was doing a great job of going to the gym. I was going anywhere from 4-6 days a week, I had healthier eating habits: I was so disciplined. Even when I went to Florida for Christmas, I made sure to bring my healthy food with me so that I wouldn’t be tempted. All of that changed when I went to nova for New Years. The combination of crappy food, late nights and no exercise completely derailed me. When I got back to Richmond, I was so depressed from having to leave Nova that I had no desire to get back on track… 2 months in to 2013, and I have maybe gone to the gym 3 times… So today, the journey starts over. I went to cycle this morning at 5:30am- Calories Burned: 529. (I knew I had things to do after work and didn’t want to mess up on my first day). Since its my first day back, I also decided to retake my measurements :(. (As much as I hate that part, it always gives me something to measure against). Today’s Measurements: Bust-33.5; chest 28; waist 27.75; hips 36.75; Weight: 122.0

Spiritual: Spend time with God daily

I have struggled with this for so long. I’ll try to do them in the mornings but I can’t pry my eyes open so then I’ll try at night but I have so many things going on in my mind that it seems so inauthentic. The last devotional I had been reading was Joyce Meyer’s “New Day, New You“. While I loved it, I didn’t feel like I got to know Jesus any better. I felt like it was more of a reflective devotional. Yesterday, I decided it was time to go get a new devotional. When I checked the family book store hours I found out it was closed on Sundays so I decided to try Barnes & Noble instead. Most of the devotionals I saw were like the “New Day, New You” one- more about words of wisdom.  As I was heading out of the store, I passed a table that had many books on them. I happened to come across a book called What On Earth Am I Here For?, written by Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life. (For a while I have been telling myself that I was going to ready that book but have never gotten around to it). I decided to pick it up and on the first page it said this “Before you were born, God planned this moment in your life. It is no accident you are holding this book. God longs for you to discover the life he created you to live – here on earth, and forever in eternity”.  While it could just be a brilliant sales ploy, it worked, and I bought it :). Over the next 40 days, I am committed to reading this book as my quiet time with God. I plan to write about it on here so if you’re reading this, go grab a copy so I’ll have someone to share with :).

Hair: Research ways to maintain healthy relaxed hair (#blackgirlprobs) & Buy Hair Products

I have decided that at the end of this month, I am going back to my hair… aka no more weave. (Ill pause for a quick second for all of the white people who are shocked that the hair they have been seeing on my head for the past two years hasn’t been mine- haha).  In the Summer of 2011, my hair had gotten severely damaged by a relaxer that was left on too long. When the stylist went to wash out the relaxer, clumps of my hair were falling out with it. I tried to make do for the summer but finally in September 2011, I decided to give my hair a break. I haven’t had a relaxer since May 2011 and haven’t had any heat on my hair since September 2011. For a while, I was contemplating the whole natural thing but quickly nixed that idea after my new hair stylist had to brush through it at my last hair appointment. Since I have decided to go back to the “creamy crack”, I decided I want to educate myself on how to properly take care of my hair. I spent an entire day this past weekend reading blogs online and watching YouTube videos and want to continue to do that so that I feel prepared once I get to “D-Day”. (I feel like im preparing to take a baby home…. Haha). My ultimate goal is to have bra-strap length relaxed hair so we will see how that goes :).

Life: Pay off Credit Cards & Create a Budget

  • Credit Cards: pretty self-explanatory
  • Create a Budget: Right after I graduated college, I made a budget that I told myself I would follow when I started working full-time. Everything seemed good in theory but I never accounted for all of the expenses that are required for getting your life started. Instead of creating a new budget, I just decided to spend whatever. Because of this, I haven’t been actively saving. My goal for this month is to create a new budget based off my current circumstances so that I’ll have a plan to better actively save.

Wish me luck!

What in the World Am I Doing?

Over the past couple of years, I have gone through more major life changes than I have in my entire 23 years of living. From my parents moving, to starting college, to graduating college, to moving to a brand new city all by myself, to working full time and paying bills… These past 2-3 years have been CRAZY… When I was going through it all, I think I was so busy trying to keep my head afloat that I never really took the chance to take it all in and reflect, and learn about myself… which is what leads me to this blog.

I’ve been thinking about starting this up for a while now but have always been too scared to pull the trigger. I didn’t think I would have anything to write about, much less anything that anyone else would want to read about…  I have no idea what I’m doing.  I don’t consider myself a writer or a very public person. I generally share the good things on social networks and keep the “not so pretty” details to myself  (or to my family and close friends who I’ve already forced to love me :)). But for some reason, I feel called to start writing things down; to let myself be a little more vulnerable. My hope is that one day I will look back and see the goals that I set for myself and see how I’ve met them.  Or at the very least, that I can look back at these posts and appreciate everything I’ve gone through and see that I’ve learned from it…  And in the end,  if someone else ends up reading this & it helps them too, then that’s an added bonus.

So here goes nothing…